The South Sound's shared live room before Sandy.
For the past six months I’ve been playing music in an amazing studio space in Gowanus, Brooklyn called the South Sound. In addition to offering up 13 solid practice rooms, the South Sound housed two truly awesome, meticulously built recording studios—The Civil Defense, run by engineer Jeremy Scott, and Translator Audio, the product of recording vets Andrew Schneider, Mike Law, and Andrew Gerhan. The studios were unique, sharing a single live room between the two of them (with dueling recording windows peering in), and the dudes who ran the place—a cheerful bunch of musical entrepreneurs who pooled together their gear, resources, and know-how—are some of the best. In just under a year, Jeremy, Andrew, Mike, Andrew II, and John LaMacchia, who oversaw the practice room side of things, shaped the South Sound into being.
And after Sandy.
And then Sandy came along and wiped it off the face of the Earth. Thousands of people suffered as a result of Sandy. Some people lost their homes. Some lost their belongings. More then 150 lost their lives. The guys at the South Sound lost their dream, and a community that they built by hand. It sucks in ways indescribable how suddenly and utterly it was wiped out. At about 5:00 PM on the night of the storm, the surge crested the banks of the Gowanus Canal and advanced toward the studio’s front door, where it brushed aside 200 sandbags and began its crush. Doors snapped in half, walls buckled, 8x10s and 24-inch kick drums and massive mixing boards sloshed about like children’s toys in a bathtub. Six feet of water. Half a million in damages. No one saw it coming. “We knew we were a few hundred yards from the canal, so we did our research,” Mike Law told me. “That area hadn’t flooded in 130 years. We were seven feet above the water table. No one anticipated a 14-foot water rise.”
Everything is gone now. But the South Sound hasn’t given up. With little help from FEMA and an unreachable landlord, they’re trying to get their biz back up and running somewhere else. So if you’re feeling generous, please donate a couple bucks here and help these guys get back on their feet.